Monthly Archives: June 2009

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Broccoli Salad

Thanks for all the Grandma-Shirt Love.  You guys are all so sweet!  I wore that shirt all day on Saturday and it sure is comfortable.  I just try not to look in the mirror!  ;-)  I don’t have much else to report this week.  My boss came in to my office at noon today and asked if I could make a quick trip to NJ for a meeting tomorrow, so I’m leaving in 15 minutes to go hop on an airplane.  I thought my NJ trips were over for awhile, but I guess not.  No time to plan a quickie visit into NYC this time {sigh}.

In the meantime, how about a quick summer recipe for broccoli salad?  You probably have a favorite recipe of your own, but just in case, here’s one that I like:

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

Salad:
2 bunches of broccoli
10 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
2/3 cup raisins
1/4 – 1/3 cup purple onion, chopped

Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. red wine vinegar

1. Wash and cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
2. Combine broccoli, bacon, raisins, and onion in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Pour over salad and toss.
4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving, tossing occasionally.

Broccoli Salad

Easy Peasy. This makes a great salad to take to a 4th of July cookout!

XOXO,
Anna

Summer Sewing

So, how’s your weekend going? More importantly, how’s your summer going? Can you believe it’s almost July? I feel like it should still be May, at least.

It’s pretty lazy-going here in ThimbleannaLand this summer. I actually dragged out my embroidery machine last week and played with my endless hoop. The endless hoop allows you to embroider long, repeating designs for things like borders and edgings. I bought the hoop 4 or 5 years ago and have never used it — I think I was scared of it. Which, as usual, turned out to be completely unfounded. It’s easy as pie to use.

Green Top

I was really fun to play with the hoop and watch the machine embroider. I decided to make a summer top and I embroidered a scallop for the edge a neck ruffle and the hem of the sleeves. The pattern is Simplicity 2651. Here’s a close-up of the neck detail.

Green Top

And here’s the classic bathroom mirror shot of the shirt. The jury’s still out on this top. I feel like I’m wearing one of my grandma’s house coats, cut off at the hips. It’s really comfortable and will be cool for hot summer days, so, if nothing else, I can wear it around the house.

Green Top

Now, I’m off to go visit BigDaddy and MeMum. Hope you have a good weekend!

XOXO,
Anna

Distracted

Well, I’m a little late with a weekend report, but I have a good excuse.  I’ve had my nose buried in The Help.  I completely avoided the computer last night and sat out on the patio reading until dark, enjoying the last of my peonies and savoring every word.

Peony

I couldn’t help myself.  I loved this book and haven’t been as excited about a book group book in a long time.  I finally finished it today on my lunch break.  Fortunately, no one came into my cube to see the tears in my eyes.  Yvette commented on my last post about how sad she was to see the book end and I couldn’t have said it better.  Except maybe to use PKM’s favorite phrase – it was super delicious.  More than super delicious!

Not much else to report from the weekend.  Just a teeny little bit of sewing happened, but mostly yard and housework.  And we had a Father’s Day cookout on Sunday.  The weather was beautiful.

Blueberry Icecream

We even had blueberry ice cream using this recipe.  Yum Yum!  When TheSecondChild was 11 or 12, he wanted an ice cream maker for his birthday, so we gave him one.  We’ve hardly ever used it, but making this ice cream was so easy and fast, it won’t be another 10 years before we use it again.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m way behind on blog reading.  Hope you’re having a good week!

XOXO,
Anna

Grocery Shopping

Last weekend, TheManoftheHouse came home from his weekly shopping trip (he does the grocery shopping, which works for us — I’d rather be outdoors and, although he wouldn’t admit it, there’s great sightseeing to be had in a grocery store) and told me about this conversation he had with a woman in the checkout line.

She was meticulously placing her groceries in piles on the conveyor belt and he said “Wow, you’re organized.”  She explained her system to him and proceeded to show him her shopping list on a sheet of paper torn out of a notebook.  So, TheManoftheHouse showed her his shopping book list.  He said the lady loved our shopping list, so I thought you might be interested too.

Menu Book

Each January, I buy one of those calendar books that tracks each week in a two-page spread.  They’re usually available half-price.  Then toward the end of each work week, I plan the meals for the following week.  I write the menu  for that day right under the day of the week. The groceries are written below the menu, organized by areas of the grocery store (dairy, vegetables, meat, etc.) It’s also a great place to keep notes about recipes, etc.

Menu Book

The book has little tear-corners on each page, so we can always open it up to the correct week.  TheManoftheHouse takes the book to the grocery store each week.  He keeps a red pen in the spiral spine of the book and he crosses the items off as he puts them in the cart.  Then he brings the book home and I use it all week to remember what we’re having for dinner.

Menu Book

It’s been a good system for us for several years now.  No lost grocery lists and (in theory) no lost recipes.  No standing in front of the pantry after a day at work wondering what we’re going to eat.  And when I’m in a menu rut, I can go back to previous years and get some ideas for things we’ve eaten in the past and liked.  TheManoftheHouse is an excellent shopper and he’s great at sticking to the list.

How do you handle your menu/shopping?  Have any secrets you’d like to share?  And while I’m asking questions, do you have any big plans for the weekend?  I’m hoping to get a little sewing done and then this sty will need some cleaning as my family is coming over for a Father’s Day cookout.  I’m also hoping I don’t get sidetracked — for you readers out there, I’ve just started a new book and I Love it so far — if there’s even a hint of rain, I’m thinking there will be no yardwork and lots of reading.  ;-)

The Help

Have a great weekend!

XOXO,
Anna

Yippy Skippy!

Wow!  Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on the last two posts.  You are all so very kind, generous, AND clever!  I’ve had a great time reading every one — and laughing a lot too.  Talk about making a girl happy — thank you!

Several other things are making me REALLY happy — starting with this adorable little silver bird.

Silver Pebble

This is another one of my fabulous prize winnings from the last month or two.  This time from Sweet Emma of SilverPebble.  I love birds and I Love Love Love this little silver bird.  I’ve been wearing her since she arrived and this picture in no way does her justice.  Emma’s work is so precise and professional.  Thank you  so much Emma — really…I can’t begin to tell you how lucky I feel to be wearing one of your creations.  And how happy it makes me!  If the rest of you haven’t been to Emma’s blog or shop, you should definitely go and visit.  Emma is adorable and she has lots of gorgeous jewelry in her shop.  I even saw some birds in the shop, just in case you want to be my twin!  (Remember friendship rings when we were kids?)

Another thing that’s making me VERY happy is the end.  The. END. of the t-shirt quilts that have been hanging over my head for the last few years.  Yipeeeeeee!!!!  As some of you know, we had a good friend who was tragically killed while riding his bicycle a few years ago.  His wife asked me if I knew someplace where she could have his t-shirts made into quilts — one each for their son and daughter.

TShirt1

Their son is TheFirstChild’s best friend and they have been so good to TheFirstChild that I really wanted to make these quilts.  (In spite of all my wailing and gnashing of teeth with the process.)  Our friend was the coolest guy — everyone often joked that he was just one of the kids.  When they all came home for visits from college, he was the one father who was always welcome to hang out with all of them.  I think that is reflected in his shirts too — they’re all so fun and adventurous.

TShirt2

I used flannel on the sashing and on the back so they’d be nice and soft.  I hope my friend is happy with them — it will still be several weeks before I see her to give them to her.  She probably thought she’d never see these shirts again.

TShirt3

Hey…who’s peeking in here?  It looks like PaulKitty.  But no…I took these pictures at MeMum’s house.  This is Sally, their sweet black cat.  Sally is getting old and she came by to rub up against the quilts.  I caught her picture in mid-meow.  ;-)

TShirt5

And speaking of PaulKitty, there’s been new evidence in the Kitty Paper Caper.

Shred9

Caught him — red-handed and trying to get away!

XOXO,
Anna